In a launch that bore all the hallmarks of a traditional IBM panic announcement on a par with those of the 3081D – dead within 18 months, and the Personal AT – shipped in inadequate quantities way before it was ready, the company yesterday mapped its plans for the future of the Personal Computer family with the widely anticipated set of four machines just about held together by patched-up stop-gap operating software. Most evident feature of the announcement was that companies like Amstrad with the PC1512 and Compaq with the Deskpro 386 have little reason to suffer sleepless nights as they get to grips with the details of the kit.
First four Personal Systems spring no surprises
The details of Personal System/2 hardware announcement are almost exactly as we gave them in CI No 647 except that the model numbers read 30, 50, 60 and 80 rather than 30, 40, 50 and 60. The 8MHz 8086-based model 30 will ship in the UK later this month and costs UKP1,106 for the 16 by 15.6 by 4 high console with 640Kb CPU and two 720Kb 3.5 floppies. Screen and 102-key board are both separately priced. With 20Mb Winchester it costs UKP1,559. The keyboard is UKP171. The 10MHz 80286-based desk-top Model 50 with 1Mb, 1.44Mb floppy and 20Mb hard is UKP2,658, $3,595 in the US. The floor-standing variant, Model 60, is UKP2,886 – $5,295 – with 44Mb disk, UKP4,275 – $6,295 – with 70Mb disk. Both will be available here in July. The floor-standing 16MHz 80386-based Model 80 with 1Mb CPU and 44Mb disk is UKP4,727, $6,995 in US; with 2Mb and 70Mb disk it is UKP5,568, $8,495, those two models available in September, July in the US; with 20MHz CPU 2Mb and 115Mb disk it is UKP7,058, $10,995 in the US; and will be available in the fourth quarter. The models 50, 60 and 80 incorporate the Inmos International Colour Look-Up Table chip to put up 256 colours from a palette of 263,000. The machines are claimed to be much faster than existing offerings using the same chips by virtue of the Microchannel Architecture – a new bus that runs at up to 30MHz. Four displays are initially offered: the 8503 is a 12 white-on-black 640 by 480 pixel display with 64 shades of grey that costs UKP201. The 8512 is a 14 colour display putting up 640 by 480 pixels at UKP505, and the 8513 is a 12 display with the same resolution, putting up 88 pixels to the inch, at UKP583. All three are available this month. The 16 8514 is a 1,024 by 768 display due out here in September at UKP1,024.
New peripherals include write-once optical disk